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60 Inspirational Artist Quotes

60 Inspirational Artist Quotes
February 02, 2023

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Are you looking for some inspirational artist quotes to brighten up your day? As an artist, there are days when we are overflowing with ideas and beaming with imagination and energy. Then there are those days when we ask ourselves why even bother to get out of bed.

Sometimes the most talented artists run out of creative juice and having some inspiring artist quotes from talented and famous artists can be all that’s needed to get going!

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Soon you’ll discover inspirational quotes on art and life that are thought-provoking and motivating from some of the biggest artistis in history. Having a list of inspirational art quotes to wake up to can help to get you on the right track with your own art.

Also see our posts on the best art deco fonts and one about artist website templates.

Inspirational Artist Quotes

We hope these inspirational quotes on both life and art will help you find the motivation you need in order to accomplish all of your art goals, projects, and dreams.

  1. “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
  2. “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” – Andre Gide
  3. “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent van Gogh
  4. “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
  5. “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Bill Moyers
  6. “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” – Cecil B. DeMille
  7. “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso
  8. “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” – James McNeill Whistler
  9. “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” – Michelangelo
  10. “Art is not a thing, it is a way.” – Elbert Hubbard

Below are some art quotes with images. So go ahead and find inspiration, create something amazing, and contribute to the beauty of this world in your own unique way!

More Inspirational Art Quotes – (with images)

“Art is anything you can get away with.” – Andy Warhol

Inspirational Art Quote: Art is anything you can get away with - Andy WarholPin

Even after his death, Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. He was the most successful and highly paid commercial illustrator in New York.

Here are a couple of other quotes from Andy Warhol:

  • “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
  • “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

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It’s not easy to stay focused on a goal, and often we drift away from it or trade it for something else. However, it’s important to remember that in order to achieve our dreams we need to stop dreaming about them and start working on finding ways of turning them into reality.

Picasso was also known for these quotes:

  • “Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
  • “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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In order to achieve greatness, one must remember to think positively, filter out the negativity around them, and, no matter what, stay focused on the big picture. Everyone who’s ever become someone has had to train themselves to think this way. It’s not something that you’re born with; it’s something that you consistently choose to work on.

He also said:

  • “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”

“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

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Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was a French artist and colorist of the 20th century. His expressive, decorative, and monumental paintings revolutionized Modern Art.

Another quote by Matisse:

  • “Creativity takes courage.”

“Art transcends cultural boundaries.” – Thomas Kinkade

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In this century, and known as the painter of light, Thomas Kinkade was a creative who had the ability to highlight elements of light within his work that could warm the heart with sentimental memories. It’s said that his work brought realism to pastoral, and idyllic subjects. He died way too young in 2012 at the age of 54.

Additionally, Kinkade was quoted, as saying:

  • “I try to embrace people with love, unconditional love, like Christ did.”
  • “Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – Bob Ross

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The famous painter and “Joy Of Painting” television host, Bob Ross was beloved by millions of Americans as he shared painting techniques and tips. He’s known for the “wet on wet” technique and reached millions of artists through 400+ episodes of his show. He was called “the happy painter”.

Other art quotes from Mr. Ross were:

  • “I really believe that if you practice enough you could paint the ‘Mona Lisa’ with a two-inch brush.”
  • “There’s nothing in the world that breeds success like success.”

“If we go for the easy way, we never change.” – Marina Abramović

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Marina Abramović is a Yugoslav performance artist.  Her art explores the relationship between the performer and the audience and the limits of the body.

“Art should be something that liberates your soul.” – Keith Haring

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Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture. He took the New York City subway system by storm in the 1980s.

“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

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Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most intriguing artists of the 20th century. She is known internationally for her boldly innovative art that captures the emotion and power of objects.

Another quote of O’keefe was:

  • “To create one’s own world takes courage.”

“It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.” – Jackson Pollock

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Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter. He was the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement in the art world. His abstract splatter paintings suggest man’s entrapment in an anxious mind and body.

“Amateurs look for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close

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Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close is an American painter, artist, and photographer who became popular as a photorealist. He is known for his large-scale portraits of himself, his friends, and his family.

“If I knew what the picture was going to be like, I wouldn’t make it.” – Cindy Sherman

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As we know, artists are not just painters and those who can draw, but photographers are too. Cynthia Morris also known as “Cindy” Sherman is an American photographer and film director. She is best known for her conceptual portraits and socially critical photography.

“I paint flowers so they will not die.” – Frida Kahlo

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Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, who mostly painted self-portraits. Her work is inspired by Mexican popular culture with a naïve folk art style added to it.

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí

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Salvador Dalí is a Spanish artist and Surrealist movement leader best known for his painting of melting clocks. His paintings evoke his dreams and hallucinations.

“The most interesting thing about artists is how they live.” – Marcel Duchamp

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Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp was a French-American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer. His work is associated with Cubism and conceptual art. He challenged the very notion of what is art.

“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. He became popular as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo that wrote enigmatic epigrams.

“Every artist dips her brush into her own soul, and paints her own truth into her pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher

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Henry Ward Beecher was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker. He is known for his support of abolishing slavery.

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter. He is one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art and also known for inspirational quotes on art.

“Inhale possibility, exhale creativity.” – Laura Jaworski

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Success is not the destination, but the journey. This attitude should be turned into a lifestyle of working hard and never giving up.

“Go out and paint the stars.” – Van Gogh

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One of the Netherlands’ most famous artists, Van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt.

“Go to your studio and make stuff.” – Fred Babb

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Fred Babb’s art is expressive, meaningful, and above all, unique. He was born in Aitkin, a small town in rural Minnesota.

“There are no rules to creativity” – Laura Jaworski

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Laura Jaworski is a children’s book author, writer, and lover of all things whimsical. This quote is worthy of mentioning because it’s so true.

“Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.” – Mark Rothko

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Mark Rothko was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent who painted soft, rectangular forms. He was the leader of New York Abstract Expressionism. This is another artist quote about life and art.

“You were born to make art.” – Anonymous

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Indeed there’s an artist inside each one of us and the adventure is finding what it is.

“Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.” – Anonymous

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Because some works of art reveal a message, and depending on how you look at the art, this one makes sense. It can be positive or negative.

“I aspire to inspire before I expire.”

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Another great play on words in this quote! It’s also humorous in a way.

“I have been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I have never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

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Georgia O’Keeffe is a 20th-century American painter. She is the pioneer of American Modernism and is best known for her canvases depicting flowers.

“If you don’t do it someone else will.”

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Remember this when you need some perspective and to motive you.

“Art is my life and my life is art.” – Yoko Ono

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Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. She is also known for her work in performance art and was married to John Lennon from the singing group, The Beatles.

“I make art to show my soul that I am listening.” – Pat Wiederspan Jones

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Pat Wiederspan Jones is best known for her watercolor landscapes, but she is also interested in handmade paper, handmade books, and more.

“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.” – Julia Cameron

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Julia Cameron is an American teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer, and journalist.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystery.” – Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity.

“You are your only limit.” – Anonymous

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How true. We have limiting beliefs that hold us back sometimes.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” – St Francis of Assisi

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Saint Francis of Assisi is the founder of the Franciscan family, the Patron Saint of ecology, and an inspiration to thousands.

“Art is an experience, not an object.” – Robert Motherwell

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Robert Motherwell was an American painter, printmaker, and editor. His work featured simple shapes, bold color contrasts, and dynamic balances.

“Creative isn’t the way I think, it’s the way I like to live.” – Paul Sandip

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Paul Sandip is a Product Design alumni of NID, a graduate of Electrical Engineering, and a cartoonist. He is also an award-winning international designer.

“The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.” – Frank Barron

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Frank X. Barron was an American psychologist and philosopher. He is considered the pioneer in the psychology of creativity.

“Who says that my dreams have to stay just my dreams?”

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As we’ve seen already, not all artists work with the pen or brush, but some are writers. Take this one for example, this is a quote from a fictional character named Ariel in the animated Disney movie, Little Mermaid. However, it is inspiring.

There is no must in art because art is free.” – Wassily Kandinsky

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Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is known for painting one of the first recognized purely abstract artworks.

“Do more than just exist.”

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Image Credit: TheDailyQuotes.com

This is a quote that can inspire anyone and it comes from TheDailyQuotes.com.

“It isn’t until the painter has no idea what he’s doing that he makes good paintings.” – Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings.

“I feel glorious, dynamic energy. I am active and alive.” – Louise Hay

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Image Credit: LouiseHay.com

Louise Lynn Hay was an American motivational author and the founder of Hay House.

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, leader of the transcendentalist movement.

“If there is no way, create one.”

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Surely this one is for artists, but really for everyone looking for solutions to challenges like inventors.

“I was created to create.”

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Undoubtedly, this is suggesting an intelligent designer has given all of us the ability to create.

“No artist tolerates reality.” – Nietzsche

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Nietzsche was a German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic who believed that the central task of philosophy was to teach us to become who we are.

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Pablo Picasso

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Pablo Picasso is probably the most important artistic figure of the 20th century. This one of those famous artist quotes about life and art combined.

“Art does not reproduce what you see. It makes us see.” – Paul Klee

Inspiring Art Quote - Art does not reproduce what you see, it makes us see - Paul KleePin

Paul Klee was a German artist who taught at the Bauhaus. He had a unique style that was influenced by expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and orientalism.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge - Albert EinsteinPin

Here’s an inspiring quote that comes from a famous someone who is considered to be one of the smartest people who has ever lived, Albert Einstein. This quote puts things in perspective and how important our imagination is when creating art.

“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gauguin

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Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. He was underappreciated until after his death.

Motivating & Inspirational Artist Quotes Summary

Finding some inspiration and motivation as an artist can be challenging in a world filled with so much chaos and confusion so we hope you found these inspirational quotes on art and life motivating.

Thanks for visiting, be inspired, be true to your creative work and please leave a comment below!


Editors Note: Just like an artist who considers their work a “labor of love”, we tend to do the same with our blog. There are copycats of our work who have literally taken this content, such as artisthue.com, and this post is an original creative work and was posted back in 2016. We have. The actual quotes by famous artists showcased here do not belong to anyone except the artist.

Written by Iggy

Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design trends, inspiration, design freebies, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

6 Comments

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  1. Rainbow Empress says:

    Every artist dips her brush into her own soul, and paints her own truth into her pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher
    “Art is to console those who are broken by life”
    _Vincent Van Gogh

    These quotes are hitting the heart!
    Art is a reflection of the soul!
    And it’s nice when your art affects someone soul in a good way!

  2. Amruta says:

    Wow.. very inspirational quotes. Loved this one specially “Inhale possibility, exhale creativity.” – Laura Jaworski and I close my eyes in order to see.

  3. Su Hall says:

    Love them all! Interesting who said what, too! Thank you!
    Su

  4. Bob says:

    “You are your only limit.” – very true for me. So much more would get done if it all weren’t up to me.

  5. Justin says:

    “Amateurs look for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close

    That one hit the nail on the head.

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